Our vision: to transform access to medical care.

Getting the best out of askmyGP

You will benefit as a practice only as far as your patients move from phoning up or walking in to seeking help online. They will only do so with 100% commitment from your whole team. Your task is to make the online channel as easy, attractive and welcoming as possible, to encourage and thank everyone who uses it. Remember: too much demand online will never be a problem – the time saved by GPs by this mode of access for patients will only ever benefit you.

Online access will not increase demand, and there is no evidence that it diverts demand away to self-care or other clinical pathways prior to interaction with a GP.  The demand is the demand, it’s just easier for you to deal with if it starts online.  The more you alert people to askmyGP the more they will use it. For many it will represent a hugely convenient way of being in contact with your GPs, and they will want to use it, if they know about it and believe you have confidence in it.

Below you will find advice on how to make sure you get the very best out of askmyGP; please click on the underlined bold links below to access further resources.

  1. Embed the askmyGP logo with your unique link to the service on your practice home page.  We will work with you to select the best version of the logo for you and to position the logo to be the most obvious link on your homepage so it is unmissable – on PC, tablet or smartphone.  As little as one scroll down to find it will lose people.
  2. Please ensure that all your reception staff – handout the leaflet  and briefly discuss the service to patients at every reasonable opportunity. Please also the leaflets are displayed prominently in your waiting room.
  3. Please also ensure that all your clinicians also handout the leaflet and briefly discuss the service to patients at the end of consultations (at every reasonable opportunity).
  4. Similarly, please ensure that your poster is prominently displayed in the waiting room. You will know from experience where the best places are, so please do use them – at least in the first few weeks. Your commitment will be rewarded by increased usage.
  5. If possible, please play the video in your waiting room. People will be able to see it when they click on the link from your website to access the service, but being in the loop of messages you currently play is of enormous value. If you can do this, we can make it available in the right format for you.
  6. Volumes of use will be small UNLESS you change your phone message. Only when one of the GP partners records a new message will significant numbers of patients respond. Patients call because of anxiety about a medical problem, and the first thing they need is reassurance from a trusted professional.
  7. If you have the resources, you can also get a member of staff to actually show how askmyGP works to people in the waiting room. This can be done on ad-hoc basis over the first few weeks of system use, whenever you can spare the staff, an effective alternative is to ask members of your PPG to do this (we know many are only too happy to help). This gets a really positive response from many people and encourages usage.
  8. Take a look here at our advice on reception workflows and document handling. Explore the link for your own clinical system specific instructions. Remember, this is advice only using some of the system features in the various clinical systems; we do not suggest these are the only ways to handle workflow. In any event, the number of requests you will handle will build slowly so you have plenty of opportunity to create a system that works best for you. Above all, don’t worry! You will NOT be swamped!
  9. Maintain your admin page; now that you have your own password (you will have chosen this at the initial set-up which you will have done with our assistance). You can continue to customise the landing page for patients in line with changes at your practice. It’s key to keep this up to date and properly reflecting how you will deliver the service. For example, if you intend to offer access to specific clinicians on this page, rather than just access to any GP, then make sure it’s always accurate. We know that people lose faith in any online service if it’s not consistent with what is actually happening on the day.
  10. Understanding your performance: use of askmyGP is automatically recorded and charted for you with the Pilot suite. This will really help you understand who is using the system, when and why. This information will be invaluable in helping you drive usage to this channel.

As confidence grows you will see how online submissions save you time.  How do you build them?  By increasing the trust that your patients have in the new channel.  It is natural for patients to consider their own needs as urgent, whether or not a clinician agrees. Patients will therefore do whatever they think gets them most urgent attention.  If you treat a telephone call or walk-in patient as more urgent than an online one, you will confirm their view and reward them for doing the thing that takes up more of your precious time!

A request online is silent, and may carry little emotion in the words.  Imagine that person standing in front of you hammering on the desk.  Respond as soon as you can, even if it is to say “Nothing to worry about, call me in a month if it is no better.”  You have rewarded their effort in seeking help online, and they WILL return.

As you know word of mouth is your best promotional tool. Give your patients a great experience with askmyGP and the word will spread. As one GP said to us: “Never underestimate the power of the School Gate!”.